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29 July 2010 (VOL 8 WEEK 29)

Hand on Heart - Job Opportunity
The Hand on Heart Village is a new organisation aimed at developing innovative businesses and job opportunities for people, including those with physical and sensory disabilities. The Founder / Chief Executive, Jamie Regan CPA has worked in the disability sector for 10 years and is committed to inclusion. Jamie is seeking a personal assistant for a 3 month placement with the view to a 12 month contract to help grow this innovative and dynamic charity.

As the organisation is committed to promoting employment for people with disabilities, candidates who are currently unemployed and who are Deaf are invited to apply. The only essential requirements are good computer skills (Microsoft Products, email and internet) and being fluent in sign language. Telephone & audio communication is not a requirement. If you are interested, please email your CV to jregan@hhv.ie.
Applications closing date: Friday 30th July 2010.

Please download 'Personal Assistant Advertisement' in Word Doc Download (size 90KB)

Orla O Sullivan - Deafblind Pianist
We would like to send our best wishes to Orla O Sullivan who recently launched her music CD. Orla is a Deaf – Blind pianist, performer, and teacher.

She has an Associate Diploma in Performance for Piano (A.T.C.L.) by Trinity College London. She also has Diploma in Youth and Community Work (U.C.C), Music Performance, Management and Sound, and a teacher’s Cert VCM. She also studied organ in St. Fin Barr’s Cathedral.

She was taught nursery rhymes and songs by her mother, which stimulated her musical ear from an early age. She helped her play the piano by holding her fingers on the keys so that she could feel the vibration and hear the sounds. She started formal piano lessons at the age of six and through her school years she got the highest scores in her music Inter and Leaving Cert exam ear tests. She also learned several instruments including violin, guitar, piano accordion, electronic keyboard, and organ. For more information on Orla and her CD launch, go to www.orlaosullivan.ie.

BBC Proms in BSL
Here is another tip for anyone looking for something interesting on their summer travels. The 19th Prom will be held on July 31st in London. This Prom will be the first ever signed Prom.

Dr Paul Whittaker, Artistic Director of Music and the Deaf will guide you through the music of Stephen Sondheim. It will include excerpts from horror-opera "Sweeney Todd"; the Ingmar Bergman-inspired "A Little Night Music" and the fairytale "Into the Woods", as well as excerpts from "Company and Sunday in the Park with George".

You're advised to get there early and queue. 150 'promming spaces' have been set aside to make sure that deaf customers get a good chance of seeing the performance. No more seats are available and you cannot pre-book these standing only spots. 50% ticket reductions are on offer for all disabled people at the venue: www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2010/whatson/3107.shtml#prom19.

Cormac Leonard - Your Family Tree
Would you be interested in knowing about your Family Tree? If so, the Deaf Community Centre in Limerick will host a talk with Cormac Leonard. The date is yet to be confirmed but it will be held between the 20th and the 27th of September.

Cormac is a sign language interpreter and well known in the Deaf community.

Find out about:
  • Your parents
  • Your grandparents
  • Your great grandparents from where?
  • Know more information about their past times
  • Never knew you had Deaf in previous generations?
Tea and Coffee will be provided. For more information, contact the DCC in Limerick

Equality - It's About You
The Equality and Rights Alliance would like you to share your views and support ERA's campaign for better equality and human rights. ERA believe "equality and human rights are everyone’s issues- especially yours. They determine your home life, your school life, your community, your health or your work chances". To send them a message, go to the following website www.itsaboutyou.ie.

Civil Partnership Signed into Law
On the 19th of July, the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, signed the Civil Partnership Bill into law. This will now open the way for same sex couples that are hearing or Deaf to have legal recognition of their relationship in Ireland.

“This is a great day for Ireland. Lesbian and gay people, their parents, families, friends neighbours, colleagues can now look forward to celebrating their civil partnerships in the near future” according to Kieran Rose. “It is a tribute to the openness and welcoming nature of Irish society and the commitment of all our legislators and is a major civil rights milestone for lesbian and gay people”.

The Minster for Justice and Law Reform, in his comments on the signing of the Bill said, "This is one of the most important pieces of civil rights legislation to be enacted since independence. Its legislative advance has seen an unprecedented degree of unity and support within both Houses of the Oireachtas. Ireland will be a better place for its enactment. This new law provides, for the first time, legal recognition for same-sex couples in Ireland. It is of tremendous social significance, for the couples who can now register as partners, for their friends and families - ultimately, for all of us."

The Bill will deliver a comprehensive set of protections, rights and obligations for same-sex couples across a wide range of areas including home protections, pensions, taxation, maintenance, next of kin, social welfare, domestic violence, inheritance, enduring power of attorney and creation of joint tenancies.

More information is available from the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network at www.glen.ie.
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22 July 2010 (VOL 8 WEEK 28)

Irish Museum of Modern Art - Altered Images
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is currently showing work by Sign Language interpreter, Amanda Coogan. The exhibition is entitled ‘Altered Images’ and will run until the 15th of August at IMMA, Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8. Admission is free.

While, alot of museums have access programmes that enable people with disabilities to experience art works, the idea of selecting an entire exhibition with an emphasis on accessibility in a multi-dimensional way is relatively new in Ireland. Altered Images aims to enhance people's engagement with the works through the tactility of relief models, by listening to the audio and artist's descriptions or viewing the sign language interpretation.

Sign language tours are available by arrangement and an accessible website for the project can be found at www.alteredimages.ie

For more information see IMMA’s website: www.imma.ie. You can contact the Museum at info@imma.ie or telephone 01 612 9900.

IDS New Website Design
The Irish Deaf Society has redesigned its website: www.irishdeafsociety.ie.

The website has information about the organisation and the services provided by the IDS, upcoming events and news, an online shop, as well as online polls. The site also shows the latest Irish Deaf News in Irish Sign Language.

Deafblind Deaf Theatre Company Perform in UK
Many of us will be travelling abroad this summer. Here is an interesting event if you are in London. The Nalaga’at Centre in Israel houses a theatre company, Café Kapish, staffed by deaf waiters, and BlackOut, a restaurant in the dark with blind waiters.

As part of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) the Centre is recreating the whole experience. A temporary Café Kapish and BlackOut restaurant have been set up where you can order food using sign language and where blind waiters show you the way with tastings and activities in the dark.

The Nalaga’at theatre group will perform their play, called ‘Not By Bread Alone’. Eleven Deafblind actors tell stories through music, humour, mime, magic and bread-making. Mixing reality with fantasy, grandeur with ridicule, the play ignites the senses, titillates taste buds and fires the imagination. As the smell of baking bread fills the theatre, tales unfold and the sharing begins…

For more information about the Nalaga’at Centre participation at LIFT, go to: www.liftfestival.com/events/lift-2010/lift-2010-programme/not-by-bread-alone-nalagaat-theatre-company.

Tralee Women's Resource Centre Fundraiser
The TWRC is holding a BBQ this Friday 23rd of July at 6.30pm in Reuben's Cafe, Tralee. Tickets are available and cost €20 each. If you would like to support the TWRC and its Emergency Fund, tickets can be purchased in their office at 36 Ashe Street, or in Reuben's Café, Ashe Street, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

KDRC Closing For Annual Leave
Just to inform all our clients, that our Centre will close to the public for the month of August. As usual, a number of staff will be available for emergencies or for pre-planned assignments and meetings.

Next week will be our last newsletter until we return from our break in September. We would like to thank all our staff and clients for their support to date and look forward to working with you all in September.
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15 July 2010 (VOL 8 WEEK 27)

Visit to Aras An Uachtarain
We would like to extend our thanks to President and Dr. Mc Aleese for inviting members of our service to a Garden Party in Aras an Uachtarain last Thursday. This event was for held for Community Groups from all over Ireland.

In her speech, the President said "Community is the place where we live, not as strangers to one another but as friends who look out for one another and who look after one another. It is something Ireland does particularly well as I have reason to know from travelling around Ireland and meeting the Irish abroad I see the massive investment made by volunteers in thousands of organisations designed to enhance the quality of our lives. Today is a way of saying thank you for all you do and all you represent. If you stopped investing your time and talents in community, Ireland would be plunged into a Dark Age, an awful grim Ice Age. But because you care and keep on caring week in and week out, good things happen in our communities and hundreds of thousands of people know the joy of support, encouragement, care, inclusion, opportunity in every possible sphere and age group. So this day is yours - designed for your comfort and entertainment so enjoy it all"

The MC for the event was Derek Mooney, a well-known face on Irish TV. In addition, entertainment was provided by the winners of Fame The Musical - Jessica Cervi and Ben Morris, the winner of the All Ireland Talent Show- Chloe Coyle, the brass quintet from DIT, the Harmony Singers, the Dublin Male Voice Choir and Cibé.

We would like to thank Willie White for interpreting on the day and our thanks to Patrick Doody, Christina O' Donoghue, Grainne Moloney, Trevor Jones, and Sheila Cronin for representing our service at the event. Trevor, Patrick and Christina also had the privilege of sitting in the front row immediately next to President Mc Aleese and her husband Dr. Martin Mc Aleese.

Mass At Rath Cemetery
The annual mass at Rath Cemetery, Rathass, Tralee will take place on Wednesday 14th July at 7.30 pm. A Sign Language interpreter will be provided.

Civil Partnership Bill Passes the Seanad
On Thursday evening, the 8th of July the Seanad (the upper chamber of the Irish Parliament) passed all Stages of the Civil Partnership Bill. Following an intense debate over two days, a vote was finally called with 48 senators supporting the Bill and 4 voting against.

All political parties strongly welcomed the Bill in their closing statements in the debate. Senator David Norris in his closing statement said: “I am proud that this day has come. It is a massive overwhelming victory. It is a victory, not for gay people nor for Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Green Party, Labour or the Independents; it is a victory for decency and for this country”.

Very many speakers from all political parties recognised the omission of children from the Bill and strongly affirmed the need to quickly bring forward legislation to recognise, protect and support children in same-sex families as part of urgently needed reform to address family diversity in Ireland.

The Bill has now completed its passage through the Oireachtas (Parliament) and goes to the President of Ireland to be signed into law.

When this Bill is signed into law, we must ensure equal access is given to members of the Deaf community. For example, if same sex couples want to have a civil partnership ceremony, we need to ensure a Government Department takes responsibility for the sanctioning and payment of sign language interpreting services. Another example would be to ensure any publicity on TV or on video/DVD is signed or subtitled. These would be considered 'reasonable accommodation' measures as outlined in the Equal Status Acts and the Disability Act.

Previous Updates
It has come to our attention that previous updates have not been received by some of our readers - this appears to be a technical error by our telecom provider.

To see updates from June, go to www.kerrydeaf.com/localnews/2010/june.html.

For May updates, go to www.kerrydeaf.com/localnews/2010/may.html.

In addition, updates also appear on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kerrydeaf.
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8 July 2010 (VOL 8 WEEK 26)

KODA Family Conference USA
In this week's edition, we will give you an update from the Kids of Deaf Adults (KODA) Family Conference. The event was held in Camp Mark 7, Old Forge, New York from the 24th to the 27th of June.

The conference was an opportunity to offer services and support to KODA families as well as to professionals and community leaders. In addition, it hoped to continuously reaffirm the viability, strength and healthy future of KODA families.

In total, 20 people from Ireland attended the conference. The Irish delegation was made up of ten KODA's, six Deaf parents and four interpreters. This was the 1st time a delegation from Ireland attended a conference in the States focusing solely on hearing kids of Deaf parents. The parents group worked very hard to fundraise to travel to Old Forge. With the current economic difficulties in Ireland, this was a huge challenge. In addition, the parents had to fundraise to cover the travel costs of the interpreting team when no Government funding was provided to them. This was a major achievement for the parents and they deserve a huge thank you for all their hard work.

The aim of the conference according to Krista Walker, "was to provide a much-needed forum for the exchange of research, ideas, and best practices for improving the quality of life for Deaf parents and their hearing children"

Krista was a keynote speaker at the conference and is well known in the Irish Deaf community particularly in Cork and Kerry. Krista is currently studying for a Ph.D. in educational administration at Gallaudet University and works as the Director of the Center for Professional & Organizational Development at Montgomery College in Maryland. As part of her Ph.D research, Krista and her husband Steve spent six months in Ireland. Krista was based in our service and travelled throughout Ireland to meet with Deaf parents and their hearing kids.

Krista is from a multigenerational Deaf family, and as a result, has a strong, personal interest in promoting Deaf parents' rights and involvement in their hearing children's education. Her research study on the subject in Ireland was part of a Fulbright scholarship.

The National Kids of Deaf Adults (KODA) Family Conference premise was that "as Deaf parents with hearing children of our own, we are always searching for ways to learn and support one another in bridging the cultural differences between the deaf and hearing worlds. We believe that nothing is more special than the connection we all proudly share as “koda families".

"The idea of having a national conference geared for families with deaf parents and hearing children (commonly referred to as “koda families”) was born from the desire to have a medium that would connect people from all over the country. By examining and celebrating the special relationship and cultural identities of hearing children and their deaf parents, as well as the family dynamic as a whole, we believe that a greater understanding and awareness of ourselves and our families will be achieved. And as a result, we will also have a deeper, stronger family bond".

The main focus of the conference was advocacy and development programs for “koda children”, particularly in the critical areas of education and psychosocial development. The conference was also an opportunity to learn about the highly successful KODA camps and regional KODA organisations in the States. The conference organisers hoped the conference would provide a way to share and build on those best practices.

There was a range of speakers, workshops, activities and events for Deaf parents and professionals along with a camp solely for the kids! Workshops included talks on:
  • Language, Culture & Identity
  • Family Communication & Dynamics
  • Education & Home-School Partnership
  • Community Relationships
  • Child, Youth & Adolescent Development
  • Public Policy, Access & Advocacy
  • Family Financial Planning
  • Program/Organizational Models & Best Practices.
We'd like to extend our thanks to the conference committee for ensuring the Irish delegation was fully included in all aspects of the event. The committee was made up of a group of experts and professionals in various disciplines including members who served on the Metro Maryland KODA committee and in the DC/CODA organisation. The committee was also fortunate to have representatives from local and regional KODA organisations through out the country and support from the Communication Studies and Family and Child Studies at Gallaudet University.

A particular word of thanks to Kris, Stephanie and Steve Walker, Helen Young and Julie Perry and to the Camp Counselors for all their support. A huge thank you to Krista Walker - without her support and friendship; it would not have been possible.

If you would like more information on the speakers/presentations, go to the following weblink www.nkodafc.org/31801.html.

Further information on Camp Mark Seven and the KODA camps is available at www.campmark7.org/.
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1 July 2010 (VOL 8 WEEK 25)

KODA conference
We were at the National Kids of Deaf Adults (KODA) conference in the United States and more information is available at www.nkodafc.org/index2.html.
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